Monday, 18 July 2011

Imaging OS X 10.6.6 on OS X server 10.4.11

I have over 100 Macs which need reimaging this summer. To make it nice and simple they will all have 10.6.6 installed. Unfortunately I only have a 10.4.11 server (PPC) which I don't think will be upgraded before summer ends! At the moment I have 9 brand new 27" iMacs which don't like the current version of Deploy Studio RC20.

The reason I only have RC20 installed it that this was the last version to support OS X 10.4.11. Now, I also have 9 24" new'ish iMacs which do work with Deploy Studio RC20, and some relatively new Mac Pro's which definitely work with Deploy Studio RC20. So it is still worth perhaps using it for the 90 or so Macs and resort to other techniques to reimage the 9 which don't work. Of course over time I will need a new system but to have a really good new system we'll need time.

So the plan is to carry on using deploy studio for 90% of the Macs, and resort to something else for the last 10%. Alternatives are:

  • Carbon Copy Cloner
  • SuperDuper
  • The install disk
  • the install disk on a removable hard drive
  • A bootable 10.6.6 on a removable hard drive
Well, I've looked up CCC and can't find any reference to it having some bootable interface. It simply copies a hard drive to another, which to be fair could be bootable, so I might do this.

I'm currently trying the easiest of these which is to use the install disk. I've managed to find the command line for mounting an AFP share. So I've open terminal from the booted up install disk and typed:

mkdir /Volumes/tmp
mount -t afp afp:// /Volumes/tmp/

The image that was taken from the 10.6.6 27" iMac was either done in DeployStudio helper or Disk Utility. When trying to restore this image to a drive in Disk Utility it has come up with an error message:
Restore Failure Could not find any scan information. The source image needs to be imagescanned/scanned for restore
I did a quick search and came up with this. I do now remember that to restore off a network share using disk utility it does need to be scanned for restore. Put the image in Disk Utility and go to: Image > Scan for Restore. This takes a long time on the old Apple Server G4, but not so long on the new 27" iMacs!

It should be ready for restore now...

Restored 70GB compressed in 1 hour 45 over the old network, which isn't too bad. I don't think it'll be able to do multiple machines very efficiently though.

The next process is to try and create or use an old netboot image to netboot the slightly older machines. So it only gets easier from this moment onwards.

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